People with Early Childhood education and training can:
Work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children in positions including Teacher Assistant, Teacher, Master Teacher, Site Supervisor and Program Director.
Open a licensed family child care home/small business.
Become an "in-home" child care provider/nanny who is hired by a family to do child care in the child's home setting.
Work as a teacher's aide in an elementary school program.
Transfer to a four-year college or university in fields related to children, schools, and families, such as: Child Development, Human Development, Elementary Education, Social Work, Parent/Family Education, Special Education, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Early Intervention Specialist.
There is a clear need for early care professionals. Data shows that in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties and the Silicon Valley, we will need two times the number of Early Care Professionals than are projected to graduate over the next three years.
This means jobs are plentiful and the region needs more highly skilled Early Childhood Education professionals in the workforce!
Employers in the industry regularly request highly trained Early Childhood Education graduates. They are eager to hire our students who have completed Student Teaching, and especially those who have completed an Internship in the CCCC&LS.
Requirements for Success
Effective teaching of young children in the 21st century requires a commitment to continuing professional development, understanding of human diversity and equity issues, advocacy for children and families, and commitment to the on-going professionalization of the field. It also requires:
Understanding of child development
Love of learning
Delight in diversity
Flexibility, openness and appreciation of children's natural intelligence
Effective communication skills
Emotional and physical stamina
Early Care Professionals
Develop respectful and trusting relationships with children and families
Develop and implement age appropriate and culturally relevant curriculum
Establish and maintain the classroom environments, both indoors and outdoors
Assess and document children's development
Oversee the health, safety and nutrition of children
Partner with families including: daily check-ins, individual conferences, and mutual planning for each child's development and well-being
Additionally, Early Childhood Program Directors are responsible for leadership, mentoring staff, professional development for staff, partnerships with families, and program management, requiring child development, business, and advocacy skills.